In 2019, Horizon House and Mission First Housing Group will move into an exciting new phase of their partnership. Horizon House, an organization that advocates and provides comprehensive community-based services in partnership with individuals with disabilities and their families, has worked with Mission First Housing Group since its inception nearly 30 years ago.
Horizon House will move their new headquarters and over 200 employees to New Market West from their current building near the 30th Street Post Office in Philadelphia when New Market West completes construction in 2019. Horizon House has occupied their offices near 30th street for over 20 years, and New Market West will afford not just an opportunity for updated office space, but also more direct connection to one of the communities they serve. New Market West, co-owned by Mission First, Horizon House and ACHIEVEability, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, will house a variety of essential services in one transit accessible location in West Philadelphia.
As Horizon House and Mission First look towards the next step in their partnership, we are taking a moment to look back at the evolution of this partnership and what the two organizations have achieved.
“At first it was a natural relationship,” said Horizon House President & CEO Jeffrey Wilush, who has been with the organization since 1990. “Mission First was an affordable housing provider in the City of Philadelphia and Horizon House was a provider of behavioral health services. The system was encouraging people to find affordable housing and receive support services, so the system created a relationship.”
“Where things really changed to elevate the relationship,” Wilush noted, “was back in 2005-2006 when Horizon House and Mission First jointly agreed to bring the Housing First model for homeless services to the City of Philadelphia.” The Housing First model focuses on finding permanent affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and the process was an example of the unique ways in which Mission First and Horizon House could collaborate to their benefit and the benefit of those they serve. Now, Horizon House and Mission First are moving into a new phase of collaboration and partnership with the hub of community-focused services at New Market West.
New Market West has grown out of the realization that supportive services and housing often separate different aspects of people’s lives from each other. However, Wilush noted, “The more we’re able to encourage all of these life domains being addressed in concert with each other, I think the better the services will be and the better their lives will become.” New Market West will provide an opportunity to do just that, allowing Mission First, Horizon House and ACHIEVEability to further their organizational missions while better serving those in need in Philadelphia.